About the Imaginists

Who We Are

We are an experimental theater company led by founding artistic directors Brent Lindsay and Amy Pinto and based in Santa Rosa, CA. We create and perform work that intentionally upsets assumptions and expectations, especially our own. We explore the intersection of art and community and have been creating place-based theater for over thirteen years, ten at our Santa Rosa base. Our innovative, often community-specific and site-specific, work has led to ground breaking collaborations that investigate participation on many levels.

Company and Current Associates:

Amanda Artru, Jose Manuel De Leon, Zahira Diaz, Eliot Fintushel, Irma Garcia, Dario Leekam, Brent Lindsay, Gabe Maxson, Amy Pinto, Rachel Quintana, Jessica Rasmussen, Sonja Roberts, Tessa Rissacher, Jose Soto, Michelle Torres, Xtevion, & Kalei Yamanoha.

What We Do

From bilingual performances and community projects to company created new works, the Imaginists question convention, re-imagine public and theatrical spaces, and cultivate inclusivity in making contemporary performances.We make work that asks our audiences/communities to become authors in the unfolding experience.

Often the lives of the collected ensemble bleed into the fabric of the made-up world of the performances we are making. We play with the layers of who we are and who we are pretending to be. We make theater of place and we include people from that place in our productions. Our process has grown out of many years of making theater with varied groups, from our actor-driven beginnings to young people, community members, emerging artists, artists across discipline, and hybrids of all of these—always impelled to include those who had never thought themselves performers. Our collaborations have included works with day laborers & day labor centers, undocumented youth, community members, family members, immigrant rights groups, and local non profit organizations.

For the past ten years we have been actively pursuing accessibility and inclusion in making and experiencing art; investigating new non-profit arts organizational models, training and mentoring emerging and community artists, and completely re-thinking theater; who participates, where it happens and what it is. We have developed a way of working that invites the many voices and experiences of participants to create new work and performance pieces for our community and beyond. We offer pay what you can and sliding scale ticketing for all of our performances at our home base. Every summer for the past ten years we have toured El Show el Arte es Medicina; free, bilingual performances that travel to city parks by bicycle caravan.

We are a Free Public Theater

It is important to us to make theater accessible. In 2014 we made the decision to change our ticketing policies so that money would never be a barrier to experiencing works of art. We offer advance tickets online at a sliding scale rate and "Pay what you can" tickets at the door. We never turn anyone away for lack of funds. You can find more details on our Tickets page.

Current and past collaborators and community partners include:

Centro Laboral de Graton, Comite VIDA, Healdsburg Day Labor Canter, Committee for Immigrant Youth Justice Alliance, LandPaths, North Bay Immigrant Youth Union, North Bay Organizing Project, Padilla Partners, Redwood Empire Food Bank, SSU Chicano and Latino Studies & USF Dept. of Performing Arts and Social Justice, and Z Space.

The Imaginists have received grant awards from:

National Endowment for the Arts
California Arts Council
William and Flora Hewlett Foundation
James Irvine Foundation
Theater Bay Area
Network of Ensemble Theatres
Community Foundation Sonoma County
Creative Sonoma
Center for International Theatre Development
Trust for Mutual Understanding


REAL 2016, pictured Z .Diaz, photo: the Imaginists

In the very makeup of the company as well as the themes they engage and the process they employ, the Imaginists strike me as one of the most aesthetically and socially progressive and committed theaters operating in the Bay Area today. The Imaginists consistently explore the pressing concerns of their bilingual, multiethnic community in highly collaborative, endlessly varied theatrical forms—whether re-thinking and re-envisioning classic texts like the Pied Piper of Hamelin in order to question our moral fiber as parents and political leaders in a darkly amusing, raucous and haunting musical drama; or developing new dialogue and ideas during an encuentro with Los Angeles day-laborer theater, Teatro Jornalero Sin Fronteras; or responding to the police shooting of an innocent Latino youth in Santa Rosa by seating the audience at one long table for a dinner party that doubles as a deeply skeptical exploration of the power and partiality of narrative itself.
— Robert Avila, Arts Journalist (SF Bay Guardian, American Theatre)

The Imaginists
461 Sebastopol Avenue  |  Santa Rosa  |  CA  |  95401  |  info@theimaginists.org  |  (707) 528-7554

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